I returned from a trade show a few weeks ago, and I’m reminded again how foolish some marketing endeavors can be. They had a meeting area set up with tables and chairs. When I stopped there to take a break, I noticed that each table had been sprinkled with half-a-dozen of what turned out to be poker chips, encouraging me to visit a particular company at a particular booth number.
For some reason, this irritated me. While I’m all for the idea of getting foot traffic to a trade show booth, this seemed like an excessive waste. Unlike, for example, a pen with a company name on it, this trinket was totally useless in the real world. In fact, since it referenced the booth number and year, it would be totally useless after the show ended! It’s not even like the company could reuse these things. So, once they’ve (hopefully) done their job, into the trash they will go.
Will a few thousand poker chips cause the planet to self-destruct. Of course not. Were there better ways to spend their money and get traffic? You bet.
This was just one small example of the madness that is the trade show marketing industry. I have to wonder how effective it really is at the end of the day.